The newest video from the Republican Accountability Project (above) names the names of the Republicans in Congress most responsible-- although they left off coup-plotters Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona-- for the 1/6 insurrection and failed coup attempt. (And what happened to Lauren Boebert, who was showing violent terrorists around the Capitol complex?) None of these names should surprise anyone who's been paying attention: child predator Matt Gaetz, North Carolina Nazi Mad Cawthorn, California crook Kevin McCarthy, Georgia crackpot Marjorie Taylor Greene, Texas crackpots Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz, Missouri fister Josh Hawley, Alabama sociopath Mo Brooks, Arizona sociopath Andy Biggs, and Ohio sociopath Gym Jordan.
Some choice comments they included to show Republican lawmakers who summoned the mob of violent domestic terrorists to sack the Capitol:
Gym Jordan (R-OH): "The election was stolen."
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): "President Trump won this election."
Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC): "Our constitution was violated."
Louie Gohmert (R-TX): "You got to go to the street and be violent!"
Mo Brooks (R-AL): "Today, American patriots star kicking ass."
Matt Gaetz (R-FL): "More bad behavior is what we need!"
Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA): "You can't allow it to just transfer power peacefully and allow Joe Biden to become our president."
No wonder the House Republicans have fought so hard to prevent the formation of a non-partisan investigative commission!
A few days ago Jennifer Rubin engaged in some wishful thinking in her Washington Post column: The Stampede Away From The GOP Begins. Ummm...Stampede? Is that clickbait? Rubin makes the point that Liz Cheney-- thrown out of her leadership role and soon to be defeated for reelection-- " threw down the gauntlet... refusing to accede to her party’s transformation into a cult. Calling out the liars in her midst, she is now House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s worst nightmare. 'I think that he is not leading with principle right now,' Cheney said in an NBC interview. 'And I think that it is sad, and I think it’s dangerous.' In other words: He’s a spineless pawn of the former president who will do his bidding no matter how outrageous the demand. As Cheney tosses McCarthy (R-CA) around like a rag doll, she is making crystal clear how high the stakes are in 2022. A MAGA Republican House majority controlled by the disgraced former president would be a threat to the republic. Making a midterm election about the unfitness of the challengers rather than a referendum on the incumbents is a gift to the Democratic Party, which would love nothing more than to make McCarthy the poster boy for toadyism to a despot who tried to steal an election."
OK, the way the GOP has successfully made Pelosi the poster girl for "Socialism!!!" or whatever they have against her. But most people have never heard of McCarthy or haven't heard enough about him to have formed an opinion. In the newest YouGov poll from The Economist, released last week, voters who responded "don't know" when asked about various politicians:
Nancy Pelosi- 10%
Ted Cruz- 16%
Caitlyn Jenner- 20%
Chuck Schumer- 21%
Liz Cheney- 27%
Kevin McCarthy- 31% (40% unfavorable; 29% favorable)
Rubin is no idiot and she admits that "The chance that non-MAGA Republicans will constitute a majority of the House or Senate Republican membership is virtually nonexistent. The more realistic option-- from the point of view of pro-democracy, pro-sanity Americans in the center right-- may be to flee the party." May be... but has there been a sane person left in the GOP since... um... 1920 when Warren G Harding was elected? The ex-these and ex-those who are now fed up with the GOP and insisting the Republican Party stop being a Trumpist cult immediately or... they may leave, isn't likely to have as much impact as a Matt Gaetz-Marjorie Taylor Greene circus appearance. "This 'common-sense coalition' seeks to catalyze the reform of the Republican Party and its recommitment to truth, founding ideals, and decency or, if unsuccessful, lay the foundation for an alternative." Uh huh.
These are figures from a remote pre-Trump past. Republicans today don't know who Bill Weld, Mark Sanford. Christine Todd Whitman, Charlie Dent, Barbara Comstock, James Leach, Tom Coleman, Mickey Edwards, Mona Charen and Denver Riggleman are. As for former CIA director Michael Hayden and former Republican Party chairman Michael Steele and Kellyanne Conway husband George, Republicans have learned long ago to identify them as traitors and enemies.
Rubin concludes her piece with 5 not completely-- but mostly-- pointless questions:
Will any current elected leaders, besides state leaders, sign on to these principles?
When and how do they decide that time’s up for the GOP?
Do they run a slate of candidates, either as Republicans or under a yet-to-be-named new party’s banner?
Is this an effort to ideologically redefine the GOP as a center-right rather than far-right or nativist party?
If the GOP is hopeless, do these dissidents envision the new party akin to the moderate agenda of GOP governors such as Charlie Baker of Massachusetts?
These Republicans have not quite departed from the GOP, although they certainly are hovering around the exit door. While Cheney might seek the election of non-MAGA Republicans, this group surely understands that any GOP House majority would be controlled by the disgraced former president, and hence, a threat to the republic. If Republicans still nominate a MAGA-type presidential candidate in 2024, the dissidents with one foot out the door will need to field a third party or simply back President Biden (as they did in 2020), assuming he is the Democratic nominee. Ultimately, their goal is not restoration of the GOP, but marginalization of the GOP as currently constituted.
For now, Cheney and this group of dissident Republicans might embrace a common endeavor: stripping the bark off McCarthy and his enablers to make sure voters know the danger in handing over the House to MAGA cultists.